Sources close to Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward confirm that he will run for a third term in next year. Council President Brian Spencer has let friends know that he will not seek the office because of the mayor’s intention to enter the race. Key members of the mayor’s staff have begun preparations.
The question is when. Today’s front-page article on the mayor’s plans to convert the Warehouse 4 at the Port of Pensacola is an indication that he is close to announcing.
The mayor needs positive PNJ articles before his announcement. The announcement of a conversion plan that would take the warehouse off the commercial market and create another marine research facility on city property on Pensacola Bay with the collaboration with IHMC seems premature considering IHMC’s leadership team knows nothing about it. Plus, there is no mention of costs, funding, or revenue impact. Most leaders would want to get those elements in place before running to the media.
Mayor Hayward has two overseas trips planned this summer – to Spain and Japan. Will his announcement come before or after his travels?